Electric Vehicles

Multi-Unit Dwelling (MUD)

If you want to own an electric vehicle and live in a multi-unit dwelling (MUD) such as an apartment, townhouse, or condominium, you may wish to install charging equipment. To do so, you will need to work with the property association and/or management as well as a licensed electrician. If you are renting, you likely will also need to consult the unit owner. Consider the following steps:

Step 1: Understand Your Options and Electrical Requirements

Contact your property association and/or management to discuss installation of a charger, ownership of equipment, how payment will be handled, and how common area elements may be affected (if at all).

Some questions to initially consider:

  • What, if any, parts of the owners association governing documents pertain to this installation?
  • Who will own and maintain the charger(s)?
  • Who will select and hire the necessary licensed contractor(s) to perform the work?
  • Who will pay for the installation of the charger(s) and any required electrical upgrades?
  • Who will pay for the electricity used to charge the EV(s) and how will payments be made?
  • What will happen if the owner of the EV moves out or ceases to own an EV?
  • What are the terms and conditions for the removal of resident-owned charger(s)?
  • Where will the charger(s) be located?
  • What, if any, common area elements are affected and how?
  • How many present or prospective EV owners live in the building?
  • What is the best charging system? What level of charger and how many charge spots will be useful at present and in the future?

There are three basic options for EV charger ownership.

  • Option 1: Individually owned and used by tenant Under this option, the tenant works with the property owner to understand how a charging station may be installed at your stall and how electricity may be billed. The tenant may use the building's electric service under agreement with the property owner, or be billed by Hawaiian Electric.
  • Option 2: Shared charging station owned by the property owner(s) Under this option, one or more shared charging stations installed in a common area for tenant use is owned by the property owner. The property manager may connect the charging station to an existing service panel, a new service panel, or under a new electric service. The property owner may set a fee for use.
  • Option 3: Shared charging station owned by a third party Some electrical vehicle charging companies may provide, install, and/or operate a charging station. Under this option, the EV charging company will reach an agreement with the property owner. Often, the EV charging company will bill the EV drivers for use and reimburse the property manager for the cost of electricity.

    Understanding electrical requirements and costs, especially for a large building, may require the assistance of an electrical design consultant. A licensed contractor will also be required to perform the necessary electrical and structural work for installing the charging station(s). It's a good idea to get cost estimates or bids from several consultants and contractors. If electrical service upgrades are required, the selected contractor will work with Hawaiian Electric on upgrade options, as well as with the county building department on obtaining required permits.

Step 2: Consult a certified electrician

Customers may charge with a Level 1 charging cord if a standard grounded outlet is installed at their parking stall. The quicker Level 2 charging station will require installation or a charging unit and/or a dryer outlet. Every building is different and the electrical expenses must be considered. Your contractor will need to obtain a permit for electrical work.

Some things to consider:

  • Installation costs are generally more expensive the further the charge station is from the electrical service panel.
  • Installing electrical wiring through walls or underground will increase costs.
  • Purchasing and installing faster Level 2 charging is generally more expensive than Level 1.

Step 3: Select Rate or Payment Option

Several electric rate options may be considered for multi-unit dwellings. If you wish to participate in one of Hawaiian Electric's rates, please notify your property association and/or management, your chosen electrical contractor, and Hawaiian Electric early during the planning process.

Option 1: Tenant owned charging station under tenant's existing utility account

Example: If you will own the charging station and it is feasible to connect the charging station to your utility meter, you will be billed for EV charging under your current utility bill.

Option 2: Tenant owned charging station under separately metered EV charging account

Example: If you will own the charging station it may not be feasible to connect a charging station from your parking stall to your utility meter. In some cases, your utility meter may be far from your parking stall. Schedule TOU-RI allows residential customers to install a separate meter for EV charging only and be billed on a separate account.

Option 3: The property owner or manager /apartment association installs and owns the EV charger

Example: Metered under existing commercial service A licensed electrician and permits will be required for installation of the charger behind a common-area meter. There is no need for new rate enrollment and residents may start using the charger once installation is complete. The property owner/association may charge a fee for using the EV charger. Fees may be handled directly by the owner/association, or through an account with a third party.

Example: EV Pilot Rate a commercial electric vehicle charging time-of-use (TOU) rate may help lower the building’s overall electric cost if the association is installing multiple charging stations or trying to manage overall power demand. Learn more about our EV Pilot TOU Rates.

Additional Information

Please see the Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center for additional information about EV charging for multi-unit dwellings.